The sheriff’s office posted on Facebook saying that Jeremy Shaun Valentine, 31, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with an injury, which is a felony. He is being held at the Blount County Correctional Facility on a $150,000 bond pending a hearing in the Blount County General Sessions Court on May 22.
The crash happened on May 14 on Cunningham Road West. Police say the investigation found that Charles R. Clark, 75, of Kodak, and his wife were driving east when a late model, blue full-sized truck heading west crossed the center line and struck Clark’s Nissan Rogue head-on. The truck then fled the scene, BCSO says.
Both Clark and his wife were taken to UT Medical Center. The sheriff’s office says Clark’s wife was treated and released, however, Clark died from his injuries Wednesday.
On Friday, the sheriff’s office investigation led deputies to identify the vehicle, a late model Dodge Ram pick-up truck, and then to Valentine as the owner of the vehicle. Deputies arrested Valentine Friday evening and also found his damaged truck at an autobody shop in Knoxville.
“I am very pleased we were able to identify and arrest the person who was responsible for this tragic accident,” Berrong said. “Several deputies worked long hours throughout the week, following up on multiple leads, to identify the suspect and the vehicle in this hit-and-run accident. I am pleased that we were able to bring some closure to Mrs. Clark and her family, but it saddens me that someone died due to Mr. Valentine’s negligence. It was made worse when he fled the scene instead of owning up to his responsibility. My condolences to the Clark family. We pray this arrest brings you some closure.”
Berrong added that he is thankful to the deputies who worked on the case, the individuals who provided leads, and the other law enforcement agencies and parties who provided help and cooperation.